December 13 – National Violin Day

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National Violin Day is annually celebrated on December 13th. This holiday honors the instrument known as the violin. The violin is a string instrument, usually with four strings tuned in perfect fifths. It is the smallest, highest-pitched member of the violin family of string instruments, which includes the viola and cello. It is played by drawing a bow across one or more strings, by plucking the strings or by a variety of other techniques.  To celebrate National Violin Day, listen to some violinists on Youtube!

December 7 – National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

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National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day is observed annually in the United States on December 7. This day is to remember and honor the 2,403 victims who were killed in the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. It is a tradition to fly the United States Flag at half-staff until sunset on that day.

December 1 – Eat A Red Apple Day

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December 1st is Eat a Red Apple Day! 

Apples are an extremely healthy snack with extremely high nutritional value. That’s why doctor’s say “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”! The peel alone contains antioxidants that help reduce damaged cells and fight diseases. 

There are 7,500 varieties of apples grown throughout the world. They can come in a variety of shapes, flavors, and colors including all shades of red, green, and yellow. Snack on your favorite variety of apple and celebrate Eat a Red Apple Day!

Think About It Thursday: Why Do Leaves Fall Off Trees?

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When winter approaches, our part of Earth receives less sunlight, and the air grows colder, this season is commonly known as “Fall”.   When these changes happen, trees prepare for winter. People believe that leaves die on the tree and the wind blows them off the tree. According to Peter Raven, president of the Missouri Botanical Garden and a renowned botanist, “the wind doesn’t simply pull leaves off trees. Trees are more proactive than that. They throw their leaves off.” Deciduous trees have cells in them that act like scissors. These cells build up a thin bumpy line that push the leaf, bit by bit, away from the stem. You can’t see this without a microscope, says Peter Raven. The tree will then seal the spots where the leaves were attached and bunker down for the winter months.

The falling of these leaves on a tree actually helps the tree to survive the cold, dry air of winter. In the warm seasons, leaves use sunlight, water, and air to make the tree’s food, in a process called photosynthesis. In that process, the tree loses a lot of water through tiny holes in the leaves. In winter, the tree does not get enough water to replace what it would lose through the leaves. If the tree did not seal the spots where the leaves grow, it would die. When spring brings warm air and fresh water, the tree will sprout new leaves and start growing again.